Every Fifteen Minutes is a national program designed to help teens learn about the dangerous effects of drinking and texting while driving without actually going through it.
The program, which originated in Canada, doesn’t focus on just the crash itself, it goes in depth on the impacts that alcohol and car crash related deaths have on the friends and families of the victims.
On the first day students are removed from class by the Grim Reaper every 15 minutes, and their deaths are announced over the intercom. Those students are dressed up to look like “the living dead.” The point is to emphasize to students that a person in America is killed by a drunk driver every 15 minutes.
Police, fire, and medical services respond to a simulated crash later on in the day. One volunteer student “dies” in the crash, one is taken to the hospital to “die,” and one student is the drunk driver.
The “drunk driver” will be arrested and taken to jail to be booked and will spend the night there. The fire department and paramedics will simulate a response to the crash in front of all the students.
The living dead go on a retreat to separate themselves from their community in order to instill the full effect.
On the second day there is an assembly where community speakers address alcohol-related issues, and the living dead return to school. Students and their parents will comment on their experiences with the program.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration 12,998 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2007. There has been 3.7 percent decline in drunk driving fatalities from 2006.